Newest Review: ... MENU **~ The Big Easy has a huge menu with lots of variety. They specialise in ribs, steak and chicken. Plus have a professional serv... more
The Good, The Bad & The Big Easy!
The Big Easy (Chelsea)
Member Name: izzoh
The Big Easy (Chelsea)
Date: 05/12/11, updated on 05/12/11 (113 review reads)
Advantages: Huge Portions, Great Service, Fun & Friendly Vibe, Value For Money.
Disadvantages: Time Limited Seating.
So I did a quick look around and Came up with a huge list of restaurants all over London. But my boyfriend's food tastes are extremely limited. Literally meant and carbs. That's about it. So posh restaurants were out the window. I know I couldn't go wrong with a steak and ribs joint and while looking around came across The Big Easy. It pops up on restaurant review websites as being brilliant and just the food my boyfriend would love so we gave it a go.
~ **LOCATION **~
The Big Easy is located on Kings Road in Chelsea. There's plenty of on-street meter parking until 6.30pm, and then it's free. We were lucky to get a parking space almost right outside and as we went on a Monday evening, we paid nothing for parking. This is always a gem in London as so many places are no parking zones. If you wanted to get public transport then either South Kensington or Sloane Square are within easy reach. Buses run every few minutes from Sloane Square. It is relatively easy to get to and with the bright lights and big name on the outside you really won't miss it.
~** DESIGN, STYLE AND VIBE **~
To be honest we didn't know what to really expect. The whole theme of the restaurant is based on being a BBQ and Crab Shack straight out of easy living America.
The restaurant has an upstairs and downstairs so don't be fooled by the small space you are greeted with. The wooden table and chairs are spaced well enough apart so you can't hear your neighbours conversations but close enough so that you can see what they chose off the amazing menu. The tables are covered with either red and white criss cross table clothes or some plan brown paper. It feels very authentic and you can hear the busy chitter chatter bounce of the wooden wools. They have managed to fit in a lot of tables in a relatively small space, but they have made it work with no problems at all. If you have a larger party though you will be seated downstairs which seemed to be a lot noisier but with less of the hustle and bustle of the upstairs seating.
The restaurant is quite dark but it lit up my small lights hanging over the walls and candles on the tables. It is quite an intimate setting but far from romantic. Cosy and fun really sums up the vibe.
I found it really interesting that on the walls were pinned hundreds of business cards. So if you own your own business take a few with you. It was funny sitting there reading the different job titles. It killed the time while waiting to be served.
We had out meal at the beginning of November and they already had their Christmas tree settled nicely in the middle of the room. Luckily we were sitting on the side opposite the busy bar so the Christmas tree blocked off the hustle and bustle.
~** MENU **~
The Big Easy has a huge menu with lots of variety. They specialise in ribs, steak and chicken. Plus have a professional serving of fish, lobster and shrimp. They also do massive Fajitas, I saw a couple order one each and I couldn't believe the size of what they were served.
As for appetisers, they do great calamari. Mine was served in a small silver bucket with lemon, hot salsa and a nice creamy tar tar sauce on the side. The servings are massive. I had half a pound of calamari. I would recommend that you either share a starter or just skip to the main as the portions are so big.
The only negative about the menu is that is really is a meat lover's restaurant. The only things really available for vegetarians were Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers for a starter and then either a Classic Caesar salad or a vegetable fajita. The choice is really limited and a vegetarian would be utterly disappointed unless they ate fish of course, then they would be fine!
So the menu is ridiculously huge, but to make it easier for you, The Big Easy have a special offer every day of the week. As we went on a Monday, we had the option of choosing THE BIG PIG GIG! Basically, this is all you can eat ribs chicken, coleslaw and beans. With a free drink thrown in. (They say beer but as we don't drink we still had a soft drink). It doesn't come with fries so we ordered them on the side. It costs £14.95 every Monday from 12pm until close. It really is a bargain and the fact my other half munched through 3 legs of chicken and 3 racks of ribs... tells you it was good stuff. They will just keep it coming!
The other offers available are.......
Monday - Friday: Wings, Beef Burger, Fries & Coleslaw, Drink £9.95 p/p. 12pm until 6pm
Monday: The Big Pig Gig (What I explained above).
Tuesday: All you can eat Shrimp, fries, coleslaw and drink. £14.00 p/p 12pm until 6pm.
Wednesday: All you can eat Fajitas (chicken, steak, shrimp and vegetable) and a drink. £14.95 p/p 12pm until 6pm.
Thursday: Steak & Lobster, Fries, Salad and drink. £19.50 p/p 12pm until 6pm.
Sunday - Thursday: Lobster Festival, A whole Nova Scotia/Native Lobster with fries.
Although we didn't have room for dessert, the menu looks pretty tasty for those with a sweet tooth. They offer mounds of ice cream plus good old American Cheesecake. Among other favourites, chocolate cake and Almond pie. So lots to choose from. All the menus are available on their website so you can get your mouth watering before you go.
~** MY EXPERIENCE **~
I booked a table online via The Big Easy website. I didn't really think I would need one being a Monday in November, but when we got there I realised it was a good thing we did! As soon as you walk in you are greeted by a member of staff who is the 'host' for the night. I advised her I had a table booked and when I said my name she said 'oh yes, I tried to call you to see if you were still coming'. I took this as a sign of efficiency and that the restaurant was popular. Although I felt like I had been told off a little for not listening to my voicemails! Our table was booked for 7pm. We got there are 6,30pm and another friendly lady seated us straight away.
Unfortunately, they have a restriction on eating times and you are given a 1.5 hours slot. I am not sure if this is because of how busy they are of if it is because they don't want you to eat them out of business. But it does put a slight dampener on the evening as you feel as though you have to clock watch. An hour and a half is a reasonable time. But if you take into consideration waiting to be served, popping to the loo, and general chit chat. It can fly by.
So we were seated and ready to go. I wondered how the 'all you can eat' was going to work as I was expecting a buffet or somewhere that you go and help yourself. But no, they bring it all to your table. The waitress we had was lovely. I politely advised her that we had never been before and she explained how it worked. I also asked about what the food was like and what it came with. She said we should only need one portion of fries to share as the food overall was large in portion. To be fair, we should have only needed one pot of fries but as my partner had starved himself all day, he ordered two.
It did take a while for the waitress to get to our table, it felt like 25 minutes but that could have been the clock ticking down in my head reminding me of the 90 minutes we have until we are turfed from the table. Once we ordered the drinks, which came very quickly by another member of staff, and also our food, our delegated waitress came and asked us if we wanted crab 'bibs'. I looked around to see if anyone else was wearing them as I didn't want to be the only fool in the place. But many people were taking it in Great Spirit and so I agreed to let the waitress tie a plastic white bib around my neck with the word 'CRAB' in big read writing. We found it quite funny but it prepared us to get messy with the ribs!
The ribs and chicken came in a large meal bowl and was stood on a stand in the middle of the table. It was great as we could help our self and eat it off our own plate and we also had somewhere to put the bones slightly out of sight. The coleslaw was also served in a large bowl as was the bbq beans. It was all very fresh and the chicken was incredibly soft and succulent. The meat just fell of the ribs and the bbq sauce was not too overbearing. Overall it was definitely an American style feast and my other half managed to get through 3 chicken legs and 3 racks of ribs. I managed 1 chicken leg and 1.5 racks of ribs. Not bad for me considering I had half a pound of calamari with it!
The waitress was brilliant at keeping the silver bowl filled up. She gave us enough eye contact that we didn't have to call or wait for someone to walk past. But not so much that we felt bothered and interrupted. We managed to fill our bellies with 15 minutes to spare, so even if we wanted desert we probably wouldn't have had time. I didn't see them throw anyone out but I didn't want the embarrassment in case they did! But to be honest after unlimited ribs and chicken, dessert was the last thing on my mind.
Overall the food was perfect, I have absolutely no complaints. The coleslaw was creamy, the chicken was tender and the fries were crispy. With a great service from the waitress and a brilliant relaxed but fun atmosphere, it was a perfect way to celebrate 2 years of love!
Our overall bill came to about £60. This was including 12% service added to the bill. I think this is brilliant for what we had. Let me remind you; unlimited chicken and ribs, half a pound of calamari, two buckets of fries, a large bowl of coleslaw, a large bowl of BBQ Beans and 4 large cokes. An absolute bargain in my opinion. Also worth adding if you can't finish what you have ordered then you can take it away in a doggy bag!
~** EXTRAS **~
The Big Easy also offers live entertainment. I didn't see any myself as Mondays is their day off. But starting at 8:30 Sunday - Thursday and at 9:00 Friday & Saturday, live music takes over the main dining room at Big Easy. I can't really imagine it adding to the restaurant to be honest. The volume is already quite high and the venue small. So the band really would take over the remaining space of sound. Then again, I would definitely go on another night just to see what it was like.
Napkins! Napkins! Napkins. Maybe not a big deal in a normal restaurant and usually one would be enough. But I was pleased that on the table, next to the salt, pepper and sauces was a wad of napkins ready for our sticky fingers. I hate asking, waiting and searching for napkins when I eat out. So I am glad that The Big Easy understands the needs of its customers and a simple thing like this makes a difference.
If you want to take kids along you will be pleased to know they have a kids menu for under 10's. It costs £5.95 and they get a main (everything from ribs to macaroni), one side and a drink. They also organise children's parties which is quite a nice idea if you have an up and coming cowboy or cowgirl!
~** RECOMMENDATION **~
Will I come here again? Yes!
Should you make your own visit? Yes!
I recommend this to meat lovers who like a fun, friendly atmosphere. Lively but relaxed it is a great place to take friends for a nice meal. Lots to choose from at great prices. You will be full up with a main but the starters are hard to refuse, let alone the desserts.
The location is great to get too, just remember to book a table. The only downside is the time limit, but it really is long enough and I am sure they will spare you a few minutes to finish you cheesecake.
I want to go again to try the shrimp and then again to try the lobster. It has definitely become a favourite of mine and I recommend anyone to give it a try.
~** QUICK BITS **~
Address: Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack 332-334 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UR
Phone number: 020 7352 4071
Opening times: Sunday to Thursday 12 noon - 11pm, Friday & Saturdays 12 noon - 12.00am
Payment?: Cash or card
Summary: A great American Chicken, Ribs & Shrimp Joint in London.